By Denise Pietsch
If you're like me, when you're out on a run, commuting to work, or enjoying a slow Sunday morning with coffee, then you're spending that time listening to a podcast. Podcasts have become a major source of news and entertainment and have nearly overhauled talk radio, but most importantly they've connected a slew of esoteric hobbyists, enthusiasts, and professionals of all kinds. Thankfully, there are an array of amazing underwater photography related podcasts out there. We've listened to a lot of them, and we're here to share the cream of the crop with you.
Into the Planet: How to Manage Fear
This short 12-minute episode packs a philosophical punch. Jill Heinerth, world-renowned underwater explorer and cave diver, explores the upsides to fear and why it’s a tool we should embrace instead of a problem to run from. Whether it’s navigating the geopolitical issues en route to dive sites, or the uncharted territory of novel dives (re: being a member of the first group to cave dive an iceberg), Jill has seen no shortage of fear-inducing scenarios. Jill really is an expert in the field of managing fear, so what are some of her tips? 1. Respect the fear and let it guide your risk management, but don’t run from it. 2. Keep an open mind and revisit your risks regularly. 3. Stay up to date with all of your technology and remain “unwavering with safety protocols.” 4. Take a deep breath. This isn’t just a podcast for divers, this is a podcast for anyone who’s looking to reframe their fear and take a dive into the unknown. Listen here.
The League of Extraordinary Divers: Brandi Mueller Underwater Photographer and Author
Part WWII history lesson, part Brandi Mueller background story. This episode explores how Brandi got into diving, the history behind her book The Airplane Graveyard, and most importantly - is it Chuuk or Truk Lagoon? Part of the reason we love Ikelite Ambassador Brandi Mueller is her passion, knowledge, and depth and she’s got those in spades on this episode of The League of Extraordinary Divers. When Brandi saw an opportunity she took it, then turned it into a career; she has lived and dived in more places than most could even name (that’s a warning to all our FOMO-prone listeners). If you’re looking for some motivation to book your next dive trip, a bit of WWII history, and a few underwater photography tips – this is the episode for you. Listen here.
Overheard at National Geographic: The Gateway to Secret Underwater Worlds
Overheard at National Geographic is a well-produced podcast, their episodes are fun and fascinating to listen to, and this one especially so. Host Peter Gwin starts out with a brief history of underwater photography and the lengths photographers used to go to light their subjects (hint: it’s explosive). This episode does a deep dive on the inspiration behind modern day scuba gear, and how this inspiration shaped two of today’s most prolific underwater photographers: David Doubilet and Laurent Ballesta. Doubilet and Ballesta have made careers (and scientific discoveries) out of the spark Cousteau created; proof that underwater photography is a lot more than just pretty photos. This is a great listen if you’re interested in some underwater photography history and human-interest inspiration. Listen here.
My Cancer Story: Erena Shimoda - Underwater Photography
If you’re into photography with a purpose, this is the episode for you. Erena Shimoda, Ikelite ambassador and underwater photographer, is interviewed on this episode of My Cancer Story. She shares the path that brought her to the work she does today – helping survivors of cancer, PTSD, and domestic violence through underwater photography. By creating portraits for survivors, Erena gives them a chance to not only see themselves through a new lens, but also to experience the benefits of warm water immersion. Citing her clients’ personal anecdotes, the science-based evidence behind aquatic therapy and warm water immersion, Erena shares how this unique style of healing can have unimagined benefits, and not just for her clients. This is a heart-felt story about a photographer who found that by healing others she was also healing herself. Listen here.
Denise Pietsch (pronounced “Peach”) currently manages Ikelite’s Photo School and social media presence. Denise hails from New Jersey, where she obtained a degree in Dance Therapy. After years teaching dance she migrated into the corporate world and eventually came around to Ikelite via the natural career path of fruit distribution and early childhood development. In the end, her lifelong love of photography and octopuses combined into the work she does now. In addition to sharing her energy and enthusiasm with the underwater community she also manages social media for her dog, Joe, collects vinyl records, and enjoys creating memories with her friends and family.